Posts Tagged ‘Mirant’

Decommissioning of Our Shut-Down Potrero Power Plant Starts Tomorrow, March 1, 2011 – Whither the Iconic Tower?

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Today, the old girl is sitting around waiting for the order to fire up to make you some electricity, should the need arise.

But tomorrow? Not so much. All the deets.

As I’ll remember her, chugging away heating up Warm Water Cove. Circa aught-seven:

And as she looks today, in front of the historic Sugar House (which is now a cleaned-up DHL warehouse). No more steam:

Good-bye, PPP.

The Cooling of Warm Water Cove – Lawyers Have Decided, So Our Potrero Power Plant Will Go Dark March 1, 2011

Friday, February 11th, 2011

Well, that’s it, after midnight on February 28th, 2011, Mirant (aka GenOn*) will no longer be contrackually obligated to have our iconic Potrero Power Station (aka Potrero Generating Station) standing by ready to power your hair dryer and charge up your sex toys and whatnot.

How Soon Is Now? Pretty soon.

Click to expand

Has Warm Water Cove cooled down yet? Most likely, since Mirant’s not heating it up anymore. From back in the day:

All the deets:

Potrero reliability must-run agreement (ER11-2218)

On November 30, 2010, Mirant, now known as GenOn, filed revisions to its reliability must run agreement for the Potrero power plant for the 2011 contract year. The agreement includes a new provision that allows the ISO to provide notice of termination during the contract year. All of the terms and conditions were negotiated and agreed to among the affected entities, which include Pacific Gas and Electric Company and the CPUC in addition to GenOn and the ISO. By letter dated December 21, 2010, the ISO provided GenOn with notice of termination effective January 1, 2011. Pursuant to the amendments, the termination of the agreement will be effective as of midnight of February 28, 2011. On January 19, 2011, FERC issued an order accepting the reliability must-run amendments. On January 25, 2011, GenOn filed notice of cancellation of its reliability must-run rate schedule effective February 28, 2011. Responsible attorney: Sidney Davies

*As fine a Michael Crichton made-up evil corporation name that you could hope for…

Potrero Hill’s Potrero Power Plant To Go Offline in Early 2011?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Rebecca Bowe has the story of the coming end of San Francisco’s 362 MW Potrero Power Plant early next year.

Perhaps we should rename the PPP’s iconic red tower “Coit Tower South” and charge tourists admission to take rides to the top?

It’s a landmark now, right?

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Cutout, 2 levels:

Cutout, 3 levels:

Cutout, 4 levels:

Cutout, 5 levels:

Cutout, 6 levels:

Cutout, 6 levels, version 2:

Cutout, 7 levels:

Mirant’s Potrero Generating Plant is Always With Us – When Will It Go Away?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

See the tower of the Potrero Generating Plant down Seventh Street on a recent rainy day?

Will it be here a year from now?

Who knows. But, on it goes, day in and day out:

IMG_1023

Click to expand

Cal-ISO Meets This Morning to Determine Fate of Mirant Power Plant – Watch It Live

Thursday, October 29th, 2009

Get up to speed here on the issue of San Francisco’s 362 MW Potrero Power Plant and then watch live the Cal-ISO meeting that will help determine our future. Deets below.

See that big tower at the end of the street? That’s the natural gas-fired Mirant generation plant in San Francisco:

crw_4403-copy

STATE REGULATORS MEET TODAY TO FINALIZE 2010 PLANS FOR SAN FRANCISCO POWER PLANT
 
WHAT:          The California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) will finalize their recommendation to keep some or all of San Francisco’s dirty Potrero Power Plant running through the end of 2010.
 
                        San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Supervisors, environmentalists and community leaders have unanimously called for the power plant to shut down in its entirety when the new Trans Bay Cableplugs into San Francisco early next year.  In August, City Attorney Herrera announced an agreement between the city and power plant operator Mirant to shut down the entire facility upon receiving the blessing of the Cal-ISO.
 
At the September 11 Cal-ISO meeting, ISO staff said that they would negotiate a terms with Mirant to shut down most of the power plant when the cable comes online, and that contract is expected to be presented today.  On Monday, community and environmental groups Brightline Defense Project, Greenaction, SF Community Power, and the S.F. Green Party asked ISO CEO Yakout Mansour to confirm during today’s meeting that the entire plant will shut down when the cable becomes operational.
 
WHO:             Cal-ISO CEO Yakout Mansour, the Cal-ISO Board of Governors, representatives of the San Francisco elected family(expected), community and environmental groups including Brightline and Greenaction
 
WHERE:       Cal-ISO Headquarters, 151 Blue Ravine Rd., Folsom, California
Hearing will be streamed online at
http://65.197.1.15/att/confcast- use Conference ID # 968776 and leave “Passcode” blank
 
WHEN:          Thursday, October 29, 2009. Hearing starts at 11:00 a.m., power plants are Item 6, full agenda online at
http://www.caiso.com/244e/244e8eae13040.html

Ridiculous Front-Loaded 25-Year Solar Project is a Go in San Francisco

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009

This project doesn’t make sense without the money from the Feds.

This project doesn’t make sense WITH money from the Feds.

What makes this project “front loaded” is that the primary benefit appears to be the ability to distribute the press release below today, as opposed to a few months or years from now. Enjoy.

Somewhere under all that soup below Sutro Tower will go the photovoltaic panels:

Supervisor Chris Daly, who favored a second look at the details this scheme, says that he won’t come back eight years from now to say “I told you so.”

But don’t hold him to that come 2017.

                          *** PRESS RELEASE ***
 Mayor Newsom Hails Approval of California’s Largest Solar Photovoltaic
                    Installation at Sunset Reservoir
  5 MW Project Will More than Triple San Francisco’s Total Solar Energy
                                 Output
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Mayor Gavin Newsom today lauded the Board of
Supervisors’ approval of a five megawatt (MW) solar installation for the
roof of the Sunset Reservoir in San Francisco. When completed in 2010, the
project will be California’s largest solar photovoltaic (PV) installation
and more than triple San Francisco’s total municipal solar energy output
from 2 MW today to 7 MW. The Board’s approval of a 25-year contract between
the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) and San
Francisco-based Recurrent Energy will deliver clean, renewable solar power
for City municipal services and facilities, including public schools, San
Francisco International Airport, SF General Hospital, Muni and more. The
project will also create more than 70 local green jobs, including at least
21 jobs for individuals in the City’s workforce development programs.
“Today San Francisco took another major step towards achieving our
commitments to reduce greenhouse gases and grow our green economy,” said
Mayor Newsom, who sponsored the legislation. “With this single project, we
will more than triple San Francisco’s solar energy production, build
California’s largest photovoltaic system, and help lead the state towards a
future of clean, renewable energy.”
“I’m proud that my district will soon be home to California’s largest solar
PV installation,” said Supervisor Carmen Chu, who co-sponsored the
legislation with Mayor Newsom, and whose district includes the 8-square
block Sunset Reservoir, the City’s largest. “I want to thank the
environmental community, my colleagues on the Board, the SFPUC and
Recurrent Energy for forging this smart public-private partnership that
will rapidly expand our green power resources.”
The agreement between the SFPUC and Recurrent Energy leverages a 30%
federal tax credit available only to the private sector through a “Power
Purchase Agreement” (PPA) to dramatically lower project costs. Over the 25
year life of the contract, the City estimates that the power purchased from
the project will cost $50.3 million, $36 million less than the lifetime
cost of $86.3 million had the City built and financed the system
themselves. Under the agreement, Recurrent Energy also assumes all the risk
of financing, building and operating the project. The SFPUC is only
responsible for purchasing the solar power produced at a competitive rate.
The measure was also co-sponsored by Supervisors Bevan Dufty, Michela
Alioto-Pier, and Eric Mar.
“With this agreement San Francisco can continue to be a leader in
developing the solar energy markets while taking concrete steps towards
meeting our renewable energy and greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said
SFPUC General Manager Ed Harrington.
“Recurrent Energy is proud to partner with the City of San Francisco to
create local green jobs now and deliver clean solar public power for the
future,” said Recurrent Energy’s CEO, Arno Harris.

Oh well.

Does San Francisco Really Want to Build a Solar Plant in the Foggy Sunset?

Monday, May 4th, 2009

The proposed Sunset Reservoir Solar Project from Recurrent Energy is in the news lately. I understand how photovoltaic cells can work even in the fog, but fog can have a big impact on solar electric production, right? Does our unique climate play a role in the decision of where to build this thing? 

Now of course, our cemeteries are outside the city limits, as is SFO for that matter. Is this public/private partnership is the best we can come up with?  

The dreary Sunset District, yesterday, 1:00 PM:

Let’s see if the FAQ helps:

Why doesn’t the City build the system?
Pending Board of Supervisors approval in first quarter of 2009, the project would be on track to begin construction in the summer of 2009 and complete in first quarter of 2010.

Is that a responsive answer?

Why was this location selected?
This location was chosen because it is one of the largest reservoirs and rooftops owned by the city. The recent seismic upgrade of the roof over the Sunset Reservoir’s north basin makes it strong enough for the installation of solar panels. While located in the Sunset district, the solar resource is still very good, on average only 15% lower than the sunniest areas of the City.

Again, is that a responsive answer? We have to build solar on rooftops and reservoirs because…why?

Why does the system need to be located within the city?
The City needs electricity generated inside San Francisco. Starting in 1998, the City made efforts to shutter old polluting power plants within San Francisco. In 2006, Hunter’s Point power plant was permanently closed and subsequently demolished. The Potrero Hill power plant was also under discussion for closure, but the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) has determined that the Potrero Hills [yes, "Hills" - howdy stranger, welcome to San Francisco!] power plant cannot be decommissioned until new transmission or generation is added within San Francisco. This project will add much needed generation to the City of San Francisco.

So this tiny little project, which will produce something like 1% of the juice generated by the Mirant plant, is a kind of substitute for the Mirant plant? Really?

Perhaps the lowest bidder didn’t come in low enough?

City Attorney Dennis Herrera Sues for Seismic Safety Upgrades at Mirant

Monday, April 27th, 2009

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today sued Mirant Corporation for potentially life-threatening building code violations at the Potrero Generating Plant. Says Mr. Herrera:

“To the list of corporate lawlessness that includes polluting our air, ground and water, we can now add Mirant’s defiant refusal to address safety risks to its own employees.”

Read all about it, below.

Herrera blasts Mirant’s ‘deplorable corporate citizenship’ with seismic safety lawsuit

Code violations at controversial Potrero plant mark the latest in list of threats to public health, safety and the environment

City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against Mirant (NYSE: MIR) for potentially life-threatening building code violations at its controversial Potrero power plant, blistering the Atlanta-based energy giant’s “deplorable corporate citizenship” for long disregarding human health and safety in San Francisco.  The 17-page complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court charges the company with persistent violations of a City ordinance that requires seismic safety upgrades to unreinforced masonry buildings, whose structural failures in major earthquakes can cause significant loss of life and injuries.  The aging diesel-fueled plant has been a flashpoint for neighborhood and environmental justice advocates for decades because of the facility’s longstanding air, ground and water contamination problems, and their suspected link to atypically high rates of asthma and cancer in neighboring communities.  Today’s lawsuit comes after years of failed negotiations between Mirant and City leaders to address environmental, public health and safety issues — including seismic retrofits — and a series of letters over the past few months from Herrera and other City officials threatening to challenge the extension of Mirant’s water permit for the plant because it continues to pollute San Francisco Bay.

“To the list of corporate lawlessness that includes polluting our air, ground and water, we can now add Mirant’s defiant refusal to address safety risks to its own employees,” said Herrera.  “City leaders have worked for years to shutter this filthy and dangerous facility — which has no business operating in the 21st Century, let alone in a major population center.  But it increasingly appears that our good faith efforts to work with Mirant have been exploited and mocked.  The imperatives of public health and safety in San  Francisco prevent us from continuing to tolerate this deplorable corporate citizenship.  I intend to pursue a court order to force Mirant to live up to responsibilities it has too long ignored.  Mirant is at the end of its rope.”

Unreinforced masonry buildings, or UMBs, are masonry or concrete buildings constructed without the benefit of reinforcements.  UMBs can be gravely hazardous in earthquakes, with a strong likelihood of failure in serious seismic events, including collapsing walls or the “pancaking” of entire buildings.  In 1992, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted the UMB Ordinance to require: (1) all owners of UMBs to be notified of potential hazards; (2) all owners to retain a licensed civil, structural engineer or architect to identify the hazard class of UMB buildings; and (3) all owners to seismically upgrade the buildings within specified requirements and time frames. 

While the ordinance established Feb. 15, 2006 as the deadline for most building owners to complete structural seismic alterations, the City, like other regulatory agencies, extended numerous accommodations to Mirant in the expectation that the closure of its environmentally injurious power plant was imminent.  Today’s civil action details the history of the City’s enforcement efforts at the Potrero facility, and alleges that Mirant is operating a public nuisance in violation of the California Civil Code (Sections 3479 and 3480) and San Francisco Building Code (Sections 102 and 103).  Herrera’s lawsuit additionally charges Mirant with unlawful and unfair business practices, in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200. 

If successful, Herrera’s case on behalf of the City and People of the State of California could result in sweeping injunctive relief, disgorgement of all profits derived from the company’s unlawful conduct, civil penalties, and costs and fees associated with the action. 

The case is: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Mirant Potrero, LLC, San Francisco Superior Court, filed April 27, 2009.